cog·​no·​men | \ käg-ˈnō-mən How to pronounce cognomen (audio) , ˈkäg-nə- How to pronounce cognomen (audio) \
plural cognomens or cognomina\ käg-​ˈnä-​mə-​nə How to pronounce cognomen (audio) , -​ˈnō-​ \

Definition of cognomen

1 : surname especially : the third of the usually three names of an ancient Roman — compare nomen, praenomen
2 : name especially : a distinguishing nickname or epithet

Other Words from cognomen

cognominal \ käg-​ˈnä-​mə-​nᵊl How to pronounce cognomen (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cognomen in a Sentence

richly deserved the cognomen of “Butterfingers” “Christopher Columbus” is the Latinized cognomen of the navigator who was known to his Spanish crewmates as Cristóbal Colón
Recent Examples on the Web Part of the Tuscia — cognomen of lush forested Viterbo, crossed by the ancient Roman Francigena road and land of the Etruscans before that — Gradoli is also volcanic. Susan H. Gordon, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The cognomen, or surname, of the Oba is Ekpen-owa, or home leopard., 1 Feb. 2021 Moore submitted dozens of wonderful, wondrous cognomens, including Mongoose Civique, Regina-rex, Aeroterre, Dearborn Diamanté and the deathless Utopian Turtletop. Dan Neil, WSJ, 20 Mar. 2020 Denmark, Iceland, Hungary and Saudi Arabia also enforce specific naming conventions where common American cognomens might not make the cut. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 26 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cognomen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cognomen

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cognomen

Latin, irregular from co- + nomen name — more at name

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Time Traveler for cognomen

Time Traveler

The first known use of cognomen was in 1691

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Cite this Entry

“Cognomen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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